Industry Standard Computers Home Page
Industry Standard Computers
St. Clairsville, Ohio
(740) 695-1520
30 Years In Business - 30 Years Experience with Computers - 25 Years with Networks & Security
The oldest system builder in the area, maybe in the state!
Best Labor Rate in the Area, $25 Shop, $40 Outside

In Corporation Environment (dated but you get the idea)

The following is a true example vs what could have been true.

In October of 1996, a local company purchased a dual mirrored server Novell network with 13 workstations. The network was to take on the main production work of this particular company. All the servers and workstations were top of the line custom built computers, typical of what we build at ISC.  We will compare these after 5.5 years to what would have happen if they would have purchased integrated (on-board sound, video, etc.) type computers like Dell, HP/Compaq, Gateway, or IBM.  The current death and repair rate for one of the major "Integrated Brand" computer companies' computers currently used in this facility (which are given to them now by the new ownership) will be used for comparison.

The system ran 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for 2.5 years until April of 1998. Down time in first 2.5 years was none because of hardware failure. One hardware failure of one hardrive in early 1998. Hard drive was replaced, work station continued onward, lost 2 hours.

The system was partially retired (7 workstations) in April of 1998 with the purchase of a new Novell network and a different type of production software requiring more computers.  These 7 and 3 other workstations were rebuilt into regular Windows 95 computers in April and May of 1998 at a cost of about $1700 total (some new hardrives, operating systems, and rest was labor costs). They were moved throughout the facility and used to replaced primarily integrated motherboard type computers.

Pre Y2k, the dual server was split in to two servers, because the dual mirroring server software was not Y2k compatible and upgrade didn't seem worth the money, since it was in limited production use and was used to archive years of information.  The second server has been saved in case of failure of this primary server.

In mid 2001, almost 5 years after initial purchase, 5 were retired from service (one motherboard died and was replaced with a newer processor & board; 4 motherboards were put in a box; all the other parts have been absorbed into other non-integrated computers throughout the facility, and some bare bone computers purchased in 2001), 7 of the original hardrives were still in use in 6 of the machines. The other hardrives were: 2 deaths and 3 are now paper weights because of size, one NIC died in 2000. In 2002, there are no plans to retire any of these machines, unless they die. Actually they might be rebuild with one of the motherboard in the boxes downstairs. 3 workstations and 1 server is still running 24 hours a day and have been for 5.5 years.

5.5 years later the bottom line is:

  • $1700 was spent on upgrades
  • 9 computers are still in use.  6 still have the original hardrives. 4 still run 24 hours a day. One of the servers has been saved intact as opposed to being used for parts.
  • All the parts from retired or dead computers but the motherboards and some of the hardrives have been reused in other non-integrated computers saving the company about $1000 in replacement parts over the past 2.5 years.
  • 5 computers boxes have been replaced for comparison sake, we will say $4500 cost.  (I don't know how many of the original monitors exist still, I think 11 or 12 are still in use.)
  • Total costs: initial purchase costs plus $6200 replacement, repair and upgrades minus the $1000 saved in parts for a total of $5200. That is less than a $1000 per year maintenance, replacement and upkeep.


    Failure rate of "Integrated Brand" computers in their first 16 months of operation, not 24 hours per day, normal 8 hour day is 5 died out of 11, one NIC, 4 hardrives, 3 floppy drives, 5 total software crashes. So first initial costs of top of the line "Integrated Brand" computer is at this time $1500 more per computer than an ISC custom built top of the line computer. (Generally only discount brand computers are discount at the bottom, not the top of their hardware line, if you could truly say "apples" to "apples.") First 2.5 years 24 hour per day operation, loss of computers... 20 times.  All repaired in 24 hours by "Integrated Brand" computer service techs.  Down production would have been 10 days (we'll say no weekends by chance, and all fixed in less than 24 hours and no server down.)  This is a cost of about $350 per hour lost production for a total of $168,000.   Just by chance, we will say that after eating dirt, kissing up and firing two IT people for scape-goats, they were able to get out the product, late but did get it out. Now all this was very hypothetical but the next is not.

    In April of 1998, 7 computers are retired from service. Because they are "Integrated Brand Computer" computers they were dumpstered, no usable parts. The only part usable was a hardrive that is too small, but a couple of the rebuilt drives, sent because of previous failures, are kept for replacement. $6300 spent on new computers.

    Pre Y2k, the dual server is down to single server. Replacement of burnt up server didn't seem worth the money, since it is in limited production use and is used to archive years of information.  The second server except for the good hardrives has been put in the dumpster, no usable parts. A backup system of $500 was purchased to have an on the shelf archive of the server.  2 more computers have died. Because of the proprietary nature of "Integrated Brand" computers both were replaced for $1800.

    In mid 2001, almost 5 years after initial purchase, the original system is retired. It is just too slow. (Most custom built computers run faster than any integrated computers.) All archived information is placed on the newer server at a costs of $2000 in hardrive space and labor. An additional 6 computers have been bought at a cost of $5400 and an additional server license has been purchased for $1000.  Two new machines are bought because of the quantity of backup now needed on the new server another $1800.  The rest of the facility had to replace 12 "Integrated Brand" computers because of not having the parts and the ability of replacing them.... $10,800.

    So now in 2002, with custom built computers, some still in operation. "Integrated Brand" computers all in the dumpster.  Cost of "Integrated Brand" computers over 5.5 year VS custom built computers was $51,100 MORE.  Two IT people loss their jobs. The company's reputation took a beating because of late production.

    Now for your next system call (740) 695-1520.  Please check our current price list to see that you could have bought a complete spare system from ISC for that $51,100!


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